Colds, Coughs, and Sore Throats

Also known as: common cold, viral infection, viral sore throat, upper respiratory tract infection, URI

What are colds, coughs, and sore throats?

The common cold is a very common contagious viral infection of the nose and throat (upper respiratory tract). Babies and infants may have many (> 6-8 colds per year-sometimes even more if they are in kindergarten), with older children/ adolescents having 2-4/ year. Cold season for children is between September and March/April.


What causes colds, coughs, and sore throats?

Colds are always viral infections. A variety of different viruses can cause colds, however rhinoviruses are the most common.


What are the symptoms of colds, coughs, and sore throats?

Symptoms usually appear 1-3 days after being exposed to the virus with the child "not feeling very well" and then include; mild fever (sometimes), runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, a sore throat, cough, and/or mild headaches/body aches. Most symptoms disappear within 4-10 days.


What are colds, coughs, and sore throats care options?

Colds cannot be cured, and supportive care is best until the symptoms subside. These include rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, medication for symptoms and drinking plenty of fluids.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 10/31/2017 11:54:22 AM

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